The Coca-Cola Company Announces $7.5 Million Haiti Hope Project to Boost
Incomes of 25,000 Mango Farmers in Haiti

Odwalla's Haiti Hope Juices and Smoothies to Help Fund Collaborative Project with the Haitian Government, the Inter-American Development Bank and TechnoServe

TORONTO, March 31 /CNW/ - The Coca-Cola Company today announced the creation of the Haiti Hope Project, bringing together a coalition of business, government and civil society partners to create opportunity for 25,000 Haitian mango farmers and their families by supporting the development of a sustainable mango juice industry in the country. This $7.5 million, five-year project seeks to double the income of these farmers and to raise their standard of living, while contributing to the long-term development and revitalization of Haiti.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company was joined by Haitian government officials and key stakeholders to announce the Haiti Hope Project at the International Donors' Conference for Haiti held at the United Nations today, "The Coca-Cola Company has been a part of the Haitian community since 1927 and our local bottling partner, Brasserie de la Couronne, is the largest private-sector employer in the country. Our $2 million investment in this partnership will be joined by contributions from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). This project is a great example of how lives can be changed when business, civil society and governments work together to build sustainable communities and help to create economic opportunity."

The Project has garnered support from President William J. Clinton, co-chair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund for its long-term commitment to the Haitian people, "The Coca-Cola Company responded to Haiti's urgent immediate needs with financial support and beverages. The Haiti Hope Project goes a step further and exemplifies the innovative role that partnerships with the private sector can play in the reconstruction of Haiti."

President George W. Bush, also a co-chair of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund added that, "Coca-Cola has done something positive for Haitians by creating the Haiti Hope Project. It will not only create jobs which will help develop the economy, but the Project will help equip mango farmers with the skills to achieve economic prosperity."

The Prime Minister of Haiti, Jean-Max Bellerive, met with Coca-Cola representatives in Haiti earlier in March to discuss the Project. The Prime Minister pledged Haiti's support for the initiative, stating "Coca-Cola has created the kind of action-oriented initiative that Haiti needs. This partnership will create jobs and new sources of revenue for the people of Haiti. We look forward to working with The Coca-Cola Company, IDB and their partners as we focus our energies on rebuilding our country and achieving sustained economic growth."

The IDB is the leading source of long-term financing for development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Its Multilateral Investment Fund (FOMIN), which focuses on poverty reduction through work with micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, has made the Haiti Hope Project eligible for $3 million in funding, and expects to soon obtain its board's approval for the grant. IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno added, "We are proud to join forces with The Coca-Cola Company in this endeavor, which we hope will become a model of how the private sector can play a critical role in Haiti's recovery. We call on other corporations to follow their example, helping the Haitian people build a more prosperous future."

TechnoServe, a nonprofit dedicated to creating income, opportunity and economic growth in the developing world through entrepreneurship, will implement this project in Haiti in partnership with local organizations and the government. TechnoServe will provide the services of its business advisors, who will help Haitian mango farmers grow their crops more efficiently, produce additional crops to boost their incomes, and create businesses that will allow them to access markets.

The Project will also improve the participation of women in fruit production and develop opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish value-adding businesses in the Haitian mango sector. "This Project will produce long-lasting benefits for Haiti," said TechnoServe President and CEO Bruce McNamer. "This public/private partnership will build on TechnoServe's strong track record of similar partnerships underway across the world, including banana, cashews, cocoa and coffee. It will bring world-class business and industry expertise to develop the private sector and improve Haitian livelihoods for many years to come."

Consumers can contribute to this Project by purchasing Odwalla Haiti Hope Mango Lime-Aid launched in the United States this month and a similar Odwalla Haiti Hope beverage to launch early summer in Canada - 100 percent of the profits will be directed to the Project. Odwalla is a juice company that for 25 years has lived by three principles: make great juice; do good things for the community; and build a business with a heart. The Canadian Odwalla Haiti Hope program will be in stores in June.

This project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Haitian government, given its significance in the country's broader rebuilding efforts. It is intended to produce lasting benefits for participating mango farm communities, enabling them to benefit from improved livelihoods for many years to come.

    About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

    Coca-Cola in Canada

In Canada, the Company is represented by its subsidiary, Coca-Cola Ltd. (Coca-Cola in Canada). Coca-Cola is Canada's largest beverage company. Coca-Cola in Canada markets three of Canada's top nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands, Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Sprite, and the leading ready-to-drink tea: Nestea. In addition, our subsidiary is the largest juice and juice drinks company with Minute Maid, Simply, FUZE Five Alive and Fruitopia. The Company also markets vitaminwater, DASANI, PowerAde, Far Coast and other hot and cold brewed beverages. For more information about Coca-Cola in Canada, please visit our website at

    About the Inter-American Development Bank

Established in 1959, the IDB supports economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean, providing solutions by partnering with governments, companies and civil society organizations. Besides loans, credit guarantees and grants, the IDB offers its clients research, policy advice and technical assistance in key areas such as infrastructure, energy, water and sanitation, education and trade. FOMIN (Multilateral Investment Fund), a member of the IDB group, promotes poverty reduction through private sector development, with an emphasis on microenterprises and small and medium-sized businesses.

    About TechnoServe

TechnoServe is a leader in a movement that empowers people in the developing world to build businesses that break the cycle of poverty. Growing enterprises generate jobs and other income opportunities for poor people, enabling them to improve their lives and secure a better future for their families. Since its founding in 1968, the U.S.-based nonprofit has helped to create or expand thousands of businesses, benefiting millions of people in more than 30 countries. The Financial Times has rated TechnoServe one of the top five NGOs for corporate partnerships. Apart from The Coca-Cola Company, TechnoServe's corporate partners include Cargill, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Nestle-Nespresso, Olam International, Peet's Coffee & Tea and Unilever, among others. Charity Navigator has also awarded its highest Four Star ranking to TechnoServe. For more information about our organization, please visit our website at

    About Odwalla

Odwalla delivers nourishment coast to coast with the Odwalla family of juices, juice drinks, and soy beverages. Odwalla has been making juices and innovating in the natural health beverage category for nearly 30 years. Its nourishing products are available in natural food stores, select supermarkets and specialty outlets throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more about Odwalla products and Odwalla's commitment to the environment, please visit and

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at Images are free to accredited members of the media/


For further information: For further information: and to see how you can contribute, please contact: Dana Bolden, Group Director, Media Relations, The Coca-Cola Company, Tel: (404) 676-3774, Email:; Peter Bate, Senior Communications Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank, Tel: (202) 320-8547, Email:; Luba Vangelova, Director of Marketing and Communications, TechnoServe, Tel: (202) 719-1302, Email:

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